Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2016
Sales dollars decreased an expected 27% in January to $90,529,509 from December $124,697,839. This is 4% above January last year at $86,783,782. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down.
Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high at over a year for anything over $500,000.
In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expected a unit increase of 6% over 2014 actual, for the full year we got an increase of 9%. For 2016 we expect a very slightly slower market than 2015, details to follow.
On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 22% at 377 this month vs. last month at 487, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 377. Used Home sales decreased 24% to 318 this month vs. 420 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 340 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 59 this month vs 67 last month and compared with 37 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 118 from 103 in December. Used homes New listings almost doubled to 804 from 415 in December with net inventory down.
The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In January, there were 3,133 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,450 in December and a new multi year low level. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 474.
The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in December 2008 to 7 months this January. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.
Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, price increased to $248,944 from $242,552 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $238,496 from $258,207 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 175 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 175 compared to last month 160.